Washington State Votes To End Restriction On Community Broadband
Wednesday April 14, 2021. 11:20 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Washington State lawmakers have voted to kill telecom-industry backed restrictions that limit the reach of community broadband. The Public Broadband Act (HB1336) passed the state Senate with a 27-22 vote on Sunday, after passing the House with a vote of 60-37 last February. State Representative Drew Hansen applauded the bill's passage on Twitter, stating it 'reverses decades of bad policy' and opens the door to better, cheaper broadband. 'Washington was one of only 18 states that restricted local governments from serving the public by providing public broadband,' Hansen told Motherboard. 'My bill eliminates that restriction.'
In Washington, a twenty-one year old law let some local governments build their own broadband networks, but prohibited local utilities from delivering broadband to customers directly. Hansen, who was also the primary sponsor of the state's new net neutrality law, says his bill finally eliminates those unnecessary limits entirely. 'The Public Broadband Act broadly authorizes all local governments to provide broadband to anyone -- people who are totally unserved, people who have some internet access but it's not affordable or reliable -- any people at all,' Hansen told Motherboard. 'Under the Public Broadband Act, Washington governments have completely unrestricted authority to provide broadband to the public.'
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Jun, Mon 14 - 14:12 CEST